If you are reading this
Since you’re reading this:
We live in a crater, a festering wound – the sun tries in vain to cleanse. Not just the sun but nature in all its forms struggles to rid itself of the human disease. He had that thought swimming in his head, or maybe one that was just similar when she interrupted his daydream with news of their approach. His sexless twins struggled for uniqueness in her womb and there was still that final chill of winter lingering in the unlit corners of their apartment. He wasn’t prepared for fatherhood and was not aware that even the best fathers like his own died with the same belief. She had started seeing ghosts the month before and interpreting their children’s fortune and temperaments in everything around them from the mundane patterns her cereal formed in the milk to colours of fabric her hands reached out to subconsciously at a shop.
The dog barked at the sight of her naked bulge as she spirited from shower to bedroom. Her hair wrapped in a towel and the rest of her wrapped around the edges of his consciousness. He stopped typing. Her scent tumbled out of the bathroom behind her but failed to follow her into the bedroom, orphaned by that fractionally too loud slam of the door. He and the dog stewed in her essence and a part of him barked as well. At the strangeness of it all: being a father, coexisting in the same space as another living thing – coexisting in the same space as three other human beings, he corrected himself apologising to his unborn children and stray dog of two months ago that was now his – was that the type of ownership he should claim with his children? The writing was harder work than he had expected it to be.
Time flew past quicker only slowing down for rent day, pay day and once a day for the last hour at the factory where he worked the night shift. Time like nature struggles to get rid of us. The only difference is that time is assured victory even in the final battle against nature and its own self. He let that thought slide not bothering to type it out. He wondered what she was doing now. Behind door number one. Since the day she found out she was pregnant everything about her was a mystery that only deepened at the announcement, a fortnight ago, that it was twins.
He had walked in to see her sobbing like a child, almost loud enough for the neighbours to hear, through their wafer thin walls – her throat cutting off every 4th bar like a song he had once heard.
“Twins!” she hissed feeling his presence in the room almost five minutes after.
“Twins?” there wasn’t any question to ask really but he did out of habit. Her sketches explained everything yet he had retained the habit of asking questions. She had done one, just after getting the results, of a pregnant woman standing with the strain from her load as dark lines on her face and jagged wrinkles on the forehead the flesh from her face and shoulders all stretched down by the load that couldn’t have been human but something hard, dark and cold.
They were having twins he churned the phrase in his mouth – lukewarm and bland like whatever was unlovingly prepared for dinner. It didn’t fit their predicament. Children at his age weren’t something you had they were thrust upon you from the beginning it was inevitable. Another soul was destined to appear in this world even if it had to tear a giant whole through yours to do so.
The writing was dying; slowly drifting to the place where other dreams went to die in silence amidst elephant bones and sunken pirate ships. In a week he had written five thousand words and only 100 of them had survived the editing process. He could not think, there was no escape from the overbearing thought of his impending fatherhood with this psycho. The ripped out, crumpled up balls of paper filled the bin like ice cream on a cone and had started dripping unto the floor as well.
This story isn’t going anywhere he thought to himself as he put a finger in his mouth closed his eyes and cocked back his thumb. “Bang!” she screamed causing him to stab his tonsils with a jagged fingernail. He retched. She was standing in the doorway wearing one of his old t-shirts as a nightdress, it stopped halfway to her knees, lifted conspicuously by the bulge. He expected to see her with a sadistic smile on her face but instead she was expressionless. A weighty silence hung in the room.
“What was that about?”
She disappeared into the bedroom and for a second his mind was blank. The wall that separated them grew thicker and he imagined he could hear his unborn children futilely clawing not from the other side but from within. He leaned back and his chair creaked agreeing. Minutes passed that mimicked hours before he caught the first whimper muffled by pillows, will and wall. The fear was unbearable. What was crying for? There were too many reasons to pick from and he hated not being certain before going in to comfort her. He couldn’t bear to…
I’m not sure where this is going exactly?